Shoalhaven City Council is continuing works to create a pilot channel along the northern alignment of Lake Conjola.
This continued work follows on from just prior to Christmas, where a preparatory channel was established to meet any emergency scenarios that looked possible after several rainfall and storm events.
The pilot channel works carried out prior to Christmas were done primarily to protect property from the potential for flooding.
A minor release of lake water also occurred at this time, however, a combination of high ocean tides and a lake water level that did not quite attain adequate flow levels meant the release was minor and extended only over two days.
The current works, which were triggered last week by forecast heavy rain and thunderstorms, are more significant and have included the relocation of sand removed from the pilot channel in accordance with the approved plan.
The width of the channel will be increased where possible in accordance with the approved plan.
Council will be closely monitoring works and weather conditions to ensure that a timely opening can occur if rainfall within the catchment requires emergency actions to be implemented.
Council will also consider a controlled release if conditions are favourable, with a view to reduce the low-level foreshore inundation which is currently being experienced.
Without significant rainfall in the catchment, any opening to the ocean is likely to close quickly, because sand is pushed into the opening from waves and wind.
The purpose of the pilot channel is to facilitate a lake opening more quickly in the event of significant rainfall.